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NXT - April 1, 2015

Date: April 1, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Rich Brennan

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Wrestlemania has come and gone, but that really doesn't mean much in NXT. Last week we saw Finn Balor come up just short in his match against Kevin Owens for the NXT Title. That means we're in need of a new #1 contender as we wait on Sami Zayn to make his return to continue the war with Owens. Let's get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here's the returning Sami Zayn to open the show. He's been overseas in Abu Dhabi for a great tour but the timing was interesting as he's had a lot of things to think about. It should have been the time of his life but all he can think of is Kevin Owens. The Kevin Owens that he was in the ring with isn't the same one he's known for twelve years.

He's changed as a human being and Sami could see it when he looked into Kevin's eyes. Sami has had time to think and formulate a plan, and here it is: use his rematch to get HIS NXT Title back, but the number one thing on his list is to give Owens the beating he deserves. Once those two are in the ring together again, it's going to be gold.

Rhyno vs. ???

Rhyno throws him across the ring with a belly to belly and the Gore is good for the pin at 25 seconds.

Post match Rhyno says he's here to make a statement by winning the NXT Title. It doesn't matter if it's Sami Zayn, Finn Balor or Kevin Owens, because it all ends with a Gore. This is the perfect way to use someone like Rhyno and the fans are still into him, so what's bad in this scenario?

Former bodybuilder Dana Brooke is here in two weeks.

Last week after the match, Kevin Owens says it only matters that he won because no one is taking his title away.

Bayley vs. Emma

This is called a Divas match. I really hope that's a one time line and not a trend. Last week Emma slapped Bayley for not turning her back on the fans. In other words, set it up one week and pay it off in the future. Emma still does all of her old shenanigans but pulls herself into the ring under the bottom instead of flipping in. She tries to clown around with Bayley before the match gets going and the first minute only sees them trade lockups.

Bayley gets annoyed with the slow pace and nails her with a running shoulder for two before walking into a clothesline. Emma still doesn't seem to want to fight that hard so Bayley sends her into the buckle a few times but gets caught in the Emma Lock. The Emma Sandwich (Graves: “The what?”) gets two but Emma spends too much time posing and gets caught in a sunset flip for the pin at 4:12.

Rating: D+. The wrestling was nothing special here but it felt much more like a story being told than anything else. Emma as the jaded wrestler who has been burned by the main roster and not wanting Bayley to make the same mistakes is an interesting story but the matches need to be a bit better than this.

Emma smiles as Bayley leaves.

Becky Lynch wants to know when she gets her title shot. Could it be after you finally win a few matches? Sasha might not be bad, but she's certainly not this good. “Welcome everyone to N Becks T.” I apologize for making you read a line that horrible.

Blake and Murphy vs. Lucha Dragons

Non-title. You get a rare time slip from NXT as they talk about the Dragons being on Superstars and Main Event but obviously they can't know about the Raw appearance yet. Murphy and Kalisto get things going. Well at least I think it's Murphy as his tights say Murphy but the commentary says he's Blake. Either way both champions are sent to the floor for a big dive from Cara. Kalisto adds a huge moonsault and everyone is down for a few seconds.

Back in and Blake gets some help from his partner for two on Kalisto before we hit the chinlock. Kalisto fights up for a rollup for two but it's quickly back to Murphy (the commentary matches the tights) for another chinlock. That doesn't last long though and Kalisto finally rolls over for a tag to Cara. Everything breaks down and Cara kicks Buddy in the face, only to miss the Swanton. The referee gets distracted and Murphy gets in a cheap shot, setting up the suplex into a frog splash for the pin on Cara at 6:12.

Rating: C+. Nice basic tag match here with both teams looking fine. There's nothing left in NXT for the Dragons though and I have no issue with them going down in one of their last matches in NXT. Murphy and Blake aren't ready for the main roster yet but they're fine for around here. Nice little match.

Sami Zayn is in the back but Rhyno cuts him off. He doesn't care about Zayn's vendettas because the line for the NXT Title starts behind Rhyno.

Solomon Crowe video.

Tye Dillinger vs. Jason Jordan

Dillinger swings away to start but gets sent hard into the corner for a spear, followed by some elbows for two. We hit the chinlock early on as Jason has already taken the straps down on his singlet. Back up and Tye makes a comeback with some very basic offense but Jordan muscles him into the corner and finishes with something like a t-bone suplex at 2:58. Jordan looked better but that's not saying much.

We recap Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami. They've split matches so far and tonight Hideo has been granted a 2/3 falls match. It's a cool video but Brennan calling this historic is a pretty big stretch.

Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze

2/3 falls. The selfie stick gets a chant before the bell rings. The chants change to a debate over whether Breeze is gorgeous or ratchet. Breeze drives him into the corner to start for some shoulders to the ribs but Hideo comes back with a running clothesline and a kick to the chest. A running dropkick and a running boot to the face give Itami the first fall at 2:21. Well that was fast.

The second fall starts after a brief break but no commercial. Breeze sits in the corner to get a breather but it's just a ruse so the Beauty Shot can connect for the pin at 3:42 total to tie things up. We take a break (with an ad for NXT at Wrestlemania Axxess next week) and come back with the third fall in progress with Breeze stomping away in the corner. Some forearms to the head get two for Tyler and we hit the chinlock. The hold stays on for a good while until Hideo fights up and avoids a dropkick.

The top rope misses but another kick to the face gets two for Hideo. They botch a fisherman's suplex into a small package before going into a pinfall reversal sequence. After the near falls they trade kicks to the face to start and get two each with Breeze getting control. He fires off some more kicks but Hideo screams at him. A running corner dropkick misses Breeze but he can't hit the Beauty Shot. Now the running dropkick connects but Hideo tries the same running boot to the face that won him the first fall, allowing Breeze to hit another Beauty Shot for the pin at 13:24.

Rating: C. This got better near the end but it was pretty dull stuff getting to that point. I really liked the ending with a callback to the first fall, but I really didn't need to see this as a 2/3 falls match instead of just having a long regular match. It's also interesting to see Breeze get the pin here as Itami got the tournament win on the big stage. Not bad but nothing special.

Overall Rating: C. After last week's double title match show, this was pretty much a filler episode instead of anything really that important. Sami coming back is a big deal though and getting a feud with Rhyno is fine enough for a filler while Owens is recovering from knee surgery. Not much to this show but it was hardly a disaster.

Rhyno b. ??? – Gore
Bayley b. Emma – Sunset flip
Blake and Murphy b. Lucha Dragons – Frog splash to Cara
Jason Jordan b. Tye Dillinger – T-bone suplex
Tyler Breeze b. Hideo Itami – Beauty Shot

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  1. Something is just off with Itami.

    The crowd doesn't really respond to him (which is hard to do in NXT), and he never really gets going in his matches. I don't know if it's just the wrong opponent, or they're not really letting him work the way he wants, or what exactly. It's not that he's having bad matches, stuff just really isn't hitting that next level.

    I'm sure the language barrier hurts him a lot because he can't really cut promos which could be part of the bland crowd reaction.


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